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Volume 5

Fall 2009


Written by
Eshal Saleem

On Eshal, a review: Clarissa Dalloway meets the twitchy witchy girl in the often confused, often endearing narrative following the misadventures of one Eshal Saleem. Freedom songs, flights of fancy and foolhardy notions preoccupy the minds of this (self-proclaimed) ‘prodigal’ pastel prima donna, as she attempts to versify the mundane into the extraordinary. Her illicit tryst with a pen and paper lead to her (more often than not) falling flat on her face, though. Recommended for pure guilty pleasure and a sometimes absorbing read. Three stars out of five. Rated PG-13 for inappropriate material.


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Thus Hath The Moat Sing’d The Candle


One night in the forlorn winter
When the last moth spiraled down
To an adobe grave, having breathed in
The aromatic poison of insecticide,

There was a blackout in the city
A one-minute mourning
By all things incandescent, that favored
Wake etiquette, and adorned midnight’s proffered

A street lantern mourned the carcass of her
Crepuscular casanova, her back arched
In silent, perpetual
Prostration; and four boulevards further

A vapor lamp grieved the loss of her favorite
Nocturnal neophyte who, until but an hour ago would
Serve to vivify her vanity.
Her sister, meanwhile, reeled still as she
Retired from her role of
Black widow.

In a cottage somewhere
A child noticed the wick of the
Candle that bathed him in sepia,
And wondered where the electrifying sapphire
Or the brazen burgundy within its flame
Had disappeared.
There was nothing rich or prayerful
Or mystical in its light, so he
Gently blew it out.
Rest in peace, said he.

But even as its carbon residue snaked heavenward
And its molten heartbreak hardened
The candle found none.



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